Furious 7 (2015)
Critic Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of Fast & Furious 7. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series that also welcomes back favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black. They are joined by international action stars new to the franchise including Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Russell. … More
|Rating:||PG-13 (for prolonged frenetic sequences of violence, action and mayhem, suggestive content and brief strong language)|
|Genre:||Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure|
|Directed By:||James Wan|
|Written By:||Gary Scott Thompson, Chris Morgan|
|In Theaters:||Apr 3, 2015 Wide|
|On DVD:||Sep 15, 2015|
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as Dominic Toretto
as Brian O'Conner
as Deckard Shaw
as Luke Hobbs
as Louie Tran
as Letty Ortiz
as Roman Pearce
as Tej Parker
as Mia Toretto
as Hot Teacher
as Emirati Woman
as Bedroom Body Guard
as Race model
as Foam Girl
as Car Wash Bikini Mode...
as Hector's Crew
as Abu Dhabi Art Galler...
as Tuner Guy Funeral
as Prince Karim
as Han Lue Brother
as Anton Toretto
as Young Dominic Torett...
as Cocktail Waitress
as Drone Tech
News & Interviews for Furious 7
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Critic Reviews for Furious 7
While the final salute to Paul is sweet, there's so much here that's tiresome -- not least the fact that almost nothing here involving cars is real.
If you know how to lower your standards you'll have a great time. [Full review in Spanish]
Much of the hilarity in these films -- and they really are very funny -- comes from watching the excess as characters try to outdo one another's manliness.
Can you really call a film bad if it achieves exactly what it sets out to achieve?
Audience Reviews for Furious 7
Yeah alright Toretto we get it! family, family, family, sheesh! How is this still going? seriously how?? they're even starting to run out of movie title ideas for Lord's sake. Number seven, following on from the previous movie in some kind of large Marvel inspired universe (groan!). The movie continuity is all over the place, characters have been popping in and out of each flick, they've added new bigger stars and now finally we have our new look fast car heist flick. I simply call it 'The Expendables: In Fast Cars', or a better one would simply be...'G.I. Joe: In Fast Cars', you getting my drift?
Yeah so the plot involves Toretto having to retrieve some hi-tech gizmo from some nasty mercs for the (US) fuzz, in order to get the lowdown on Jason Statham's character (Shaw) who is trying to kill Toretto's family because of the events of the last movie...deep breath! Some how this is all gonna involve using souped-up cars, as if you hadn't already guessed. Just a warning, as if you didn't already know, these souped-up cars will come and go, they will appear out of nowhere in virtually every scene. Toretto and co might smash up some lovely highly modified cars in one scene, but sure enough, he'll have a brand new one ready for the next scene, outta nowhere, we've all come to expect it.
But wait! this time its not just Toretto's family that have a constant stream of souped-up cars on hand, oh no. The villain (Shaw) has [b]even more[/b] expensive cars on hand for every scene, we're talking super car shit here boy...the expensive kind. This guy doesn't think twice about ramming his massively expensive Maserati Ghibli head-on into Toretto's Plymouth Road Runner, a collision that both parties walked away fine from I might add. Also amusing to note that Statham is playing an undercover ex-special forces guy who is basically a ghost...a ghost that drives around in amazing super cars that will draw lots of attention.
How can I put this, this film ain't too subtle about anything it does, but again, we all knew this. In previous movies the action has been wild and the stunts outrageous, but there was always a certain degree of realism. The stunts would generally be real, the action would generally be acceptable and overall everything was grounded enough that you could engage and immerse yourself in this world of fast car hi-jink. Unfortunately this all ends here, this movie has stepped over that line into the ridiculous and there is no going back, this movie is officially a dumb CGI cartoon.
Don't get me wrong, it all starts off OK with a good strip racing scene where a crappy Audi gets taken down, seriously these German wannabes make me laugh. You want an image, you need a fast car, you want a fast car, you need either a ricer or at least American muscle (Italian as a last resort). After that we get a great fight between Statham and Dwayne Johnson, it all looks good, everything so far is fine in movieland. Eventually we get to the funeral sequence for Han (from the best movie in the Franchise, number 3), this is where things start to go down hill. Right in the middle of this funeral, Toretto has some kind of Jedi super sense moment and notices Statham's Maserati (quite some distance away), before you can say holy coilovers! he's in his Plymouth and we're in a car chase.
This is but a mere quibble compared to the rest of this monstrosity...oh yes. This movie goes above and beyond any kind of remote levels of realism you might have ever expected. They parachute cars out of a plane managing to land them precisely on target, on a road, in the middle of a mountainous region, bang on time. All these cars get wrecked during this eastern European adventure, but fear not, they have a whole new set of cars for their Arabian adventure, including a flippin' Veyron!
Statham is easily the best thing about this poor movie but alas he's not involved too much. Nevertheless his character does manage to pop up virtually everywhere, briefly, somehow, but always fails to kill his targets. In the Arabian adventure section he has Toretto and Brian in a car, in his sights, point blank range with a machine gun fitted with a grenade launcher. Yet he fails to hit them, much of the car, the tyres and even fails to hit them with the grenade launcher, special forces you say? Dwayne Johnson is absent for most of the movie until the finale where he rips off his broken arm cast and tools up in his hospital room. Because...you always keep multiple weapons, body armour, ammo and assault clothes in your recuperation room in hospital. He then manages to drive an ambulance off a walled bridge, to precisely land on top of a speeding jet propelled drone that was passing underneath it...seriously.
Speaking of that drone, how much f**king damage and destruction was caused during that chase sequence?! How many people were injured or killed, admittedly its not quite as bad as the previous antics involving a tank and a massive vault, and this time its not been carried out by the good guys, but still. How long would it take for fighters or police choppers to scramble and intercept this rogue chopper firing guns and rockets in downtown LA? We have car jousting between another of Shaw's super cars, an Aston Martin DB9, (he just has them on tap apparently) and Toretto's Dodge Charger...which comes out unharmed. Dwayne Johnson taking down an armoured chopper with a minigun from the crashed drone, in the middle of the street, managing not to get hit by return fire and a whole load of other bollocks that just made me cringe and yawn.
This entire exercise was completely pointless, there is nothing to engage you here, everyone is invincible, you know no ones gonna die (well not in the movie at least...did that tragic event help with the box office for this? hmmm), what's the chuffing point?! The bit at the end where Toretto is seemingly dead and everyone is crying was so utterly stupid I almost switched it off...for about the fifth time. Crowbar in the butch-ugly Ronda Rousey for an aimless fight (Rodriguez looking like mutton dressed as lamb), wasting Tony Jaa and then trying to make up for everything by utilising the cult Kurt Russell is little too late I'm afraid, Kurt is better than this.
The dialog is absolutely dreadful from everyone, such unbelievable, over the top, macho bullshit quips. The humour is also pitiful and predictable, how can anyone say any of this stuff and try to bring it across as serious is beyond my comprehension. But the main issue is this movie isn't just a goofy videogame-esque movie, you can see they have taken it seriously, it is suppose to be a semi-serious action flick. Look at the overall tone, the emotion, certain scenes of dialog, the action, the way cast members like Vin Diesel act, its all very serious, Vin Diesel takes this all very seriously, its his baby. Plus much of the fanbase will take this all seriously too, to many all this hip-hop, bling and swagger is the epitome of cool, they actually think its genuinely cool. The movie doesn't really help women in movies either I feel, surprised this hasn't got any backlash considering the recent attitude in modern society, just saying.
This franchise has always been a guilty pleasure for me, mainly for the Jap super saloons (ricers), as with other similar fast car flicks. There is nothing wrong with a popcorn action flick, just pure escapism and thrills, but you still need a reasonable level of realism you can relate to, you need the human laws of gravity and physics. If there is literately no limit to what the characters can do with or without cars (or whatever) then the whole affair becomes a pointless joke, a completely absurd pile of nonsense. This movie takes the biscuit, completely idiotic and brainless (and that's just the main characters), to say you need suspension of disbelief is an understatement.
"Furious" is a fitting title for this, the seventh chapter in the increasingly ridiculous "Fast" franchise. How many films can boast two hours and twenty pummeling minutes of rampant, expertly directed action, chases, and a super car jumping from one building to another at 40 stories (TWICE)? Not many. Then there's Statham, The Rock, and friggin kurt Russell for good measure. Furious indeed.
The Fast and the Furious series has never been more popular, which is crazy to think about for a franchise entering is sixth sequel. Then in November 2013, it suffered its biggest shock. Actor Paul Walker was killed in an automobile accident. The already-filming seventh film was put on hold, pushed back a year for release, and retooled to accommodate the new tragic reality that one of the core members of a popular series going back to 2001 was no longer walking this Earth. With this context, it's hard not to apply an added level of gravitas and dramatic weight to a series that previously skirted by on its fun and outrageous stunts. It's weird to watch an actor's final filmed moments, knowing this is the last time you'll see that face, hear that voice, on screen again. I'm already dreading that painful realization in November that, with Mockingjay Part 2, this will be the last cinema will see of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. With tragedy hanging over it, Furious 7 does an admirable job of sticking to what it does best while serving as a fitting tribute and sendoff for Walker.
Coming on the heels of the events of Furious 6, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew have dispatched Owen Shaw (Luke Evans, collecting a paycheck for one scene lying in bed). Shaw has an older brother, Deckard (Jason Statham), who swears vengeance and comes hunting after Dom's team, killing Han in Toyko (events previously seen in 2006's Tokyo Drift). Then Shaw hobbles Agent Hobbes (The Rock), leaving him sidelined for much of the movie. Dom and Brian (Walker) place their families in safety and then set off to eliminate Deckard Shaw. Little did they know that the government has a similar interest. Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) promises to help Dom in his quest if Dom agrees to a secret mission to rescue a computer hacker (Game of Thrones' Nathalie Emmanuel). This hacker, codenamed "Ramses" has developed a device that taps into every camera and microphone on the planet to track anyone anywhere. If Dom can secure the device, Mr. Nobody will use it to track and take down Deckard Shaw.
What elevated the Fast and Furious films into new heights of critical and commercial acclaim are the over-the-top action set pieces that don't just defy the laws of physics, they obliterate them. There's a fine line between stupid action and stupidly awesome action, and I think Michael Bay is still trying to finesse this understanding. Under the guidance of director Justin Lin, the franchise got bigger and ballsier and enjoyably insane. The action set pieces were huge and wild and well developed with organic complications and world-class stunt driving. The set pieces of the last few films have been stunners, and at its height, the franchise can make you feel giddy like a child watching the unreal unfold with such delight. There's a tremendous and infectious high watching a well-executed action scene on such a large scale. With every movie our expectations are hungrier, and the franchise has found a way to satiate our action movie demands (for my money, Fast Five is the best). Furious 7 is the first Fast film not directed by Lin in ten years. James Wan, best known as the director of horror films Saw and The Conjuring, stepped into the director's chair and he assimilates well into the "house style" of the franchise. However, I found myself missing Lin's touches; he has a natural feel for choreographing action sequences with style and a clear eye for orientation. I found the editing for Furious 7 too choppy and several action sequences hampered by not getting a better sense of the wider surroundings and what was happening. Wan acquits himself well and keeps things running smoothly, though Furious 7 is a slight step down but still plenty entertaining.
Let's talk about those giddy highs of Furious 7, because they are certainly there, though I wish there was more of them. Am I just getting greedy or building a tolerance? There are two standout moments that made me squeal. The first involved a set piece involving cars parachuting out of a transport plane. The next was a car crashing through the window of an Abu Dhabi skyscraper into another skyscraper and then into another skyscraper. Your brain tells you that there are no way any of these moments could truly happen in reality, and that in these circumstances it's majority CGI, but if you're like me, you just do not care because the sheer scale of awesome is too enjoyable to pass up. When you can pull off large-scale and imaginative action that manages to also maintain a strong sense of fun, then you've landed upon something special. The previous Fast films have been able to maintain that giddy high for a more sustained period of time, but I cannot deny that the same thrills and over-the-top pleasure is present with Furious 7.
A factor that added to my enjoyment is that Furious 7 never dawdles or dwells too often during its 137-minute running time, save for an extended resolution for Walker. This has never really been a franchise that has soared on the strength of its characterization. Seven movies in, I still don't really care for any of the characters except for The Rock and that's mostly because he's The Rock. I was happy that the film was always active to distract me from how one-dimensional and boring most of these characters are, even the villains. Statham (The Expendables) is the best villain the franchise has had so far but even he seems to be stuck in a lesser gear, failing to capitalize on all his abilities with a car chase franchise. The Rock vs. Statham fight shatters all breakable furniture within near proximity, but you still suspect it should be better given the participants. Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) is wasted as a number two villain who mostly just shouts orders for people to fire weapons, and martial arts superstar Tony Jaa is definitely wasted as a number three villain, an elevated henchman with too few opportunities to bust a move. MMA fighter Ronda Rousey appears briefly as an Abu Dhabi security chief. She performs well, pummeling Michelle Rodriguez while in eveningwear; however, you quickly realize that Rousey is not an actor. She's no Gina Carano (Fast and Furious 6), and speaking of, when is this woman going to finally be cast as a super hero? She's practically a living Wonder Woman anyway and she has that "it" factor.
When the movie tries to be dramatic, it starts to stall, which is probably why it relies mostly on platitudes about family ("I don't got friends, I got family," Dom says in a weird retort). Jordanna Brewster is once again written to the side as the Concerned Wife, and the movie still doesn't seem to know what to do with the re-emergence of Rodriguez's Letty character. She got her memory back in the previous film, but now she's having trouble readjusting, but before this can develop into an actual plot she disappears again and then the big action just kicks in. There's enough of a team built up to provide diversity, with Ludacris and Tyrese Gibson serving as comic backup. There's a sense of camaraderie that doesn't feel artificial, and the small moments together are perfectly nice, but thankfully the movie has the good sense to know what the audience is paying to see. It's here for the fast car, eye-popping stunts, and gratuitously framed camera angles highlighting women's derrieres (there are a lot of thongs in this movie).
With the specter of Walker's passing, the movie also presents a ghoulish game of looking for the tricks to work around his untimely absence. Reportedly the actor had filmed "most" of the movie and the remaining scenes, retooled after months of production being on hiatus, were completed by Walker's brothers and some CGI sleight-of-hand. Perhaps I just have a more trained eye for spotting the cinematic wizardry, but by my judgment it sure didn't feel like Walker was present for most of what was eventually used in the movie. I noticed a lot of wider shots and scenes where Walker is not facing the camera to speak or he's at an odd angle. At no point did the movie become a strange uncanny valley experience of discomfort; movie productions have digitally attached faces before to other heads, notably for Oliver Reed in 2000's Gladiator. If you're not looking for it intently then it will all pass seamlessly. The film's final ten minutes end up becoming an extended sendoff for the character of Brian, but really it's the actors saying goodbye to their friend. It's reverent and respectful and might be the most honestly emotional moment in the series history, which I know isn't saying exactly much.
I mentioned Phillip Seymour Hoffman in my opening paragraph, and I don't think anyone is going to confuse Walker for Hoffman in terms of acting talent, but that doesn't negate or mitigate loss and grief. Personal confession: when I was writing for my college newspaper, I interviewed Walker over the phone for 2003's Timeline, which if you haven't seen it, and I'm assuming that's the majority of readers, is a terrible movie. I'm not going to pretend I had any terrific insight into the man, but I found him to be a good guy with a level head who hadn't let fame get the better of him. One could argue that the character of Brian was not significant enough in the context of a big, dumb action franchise to deserve this sort of emotional catharsis, but loss is felt, and Furious 7 has two missions: to entertain and to memorialize Walker. While the action as a whole is not up to the same caliber, it's still plenty engaging and has enough of its characteristically dizzy thrills to be memorable and worth seeing on a large screen. On the second count, it lets Walker race off into the sunset in a way that feels appropriate, sincere, and without tipping over into complete melodrama. In that regard, this is the Fast and furious movie that had the most to accomplish and it succeeds. It's a near certainty that there will be a Fast and Furious 8, or a Furious 8, or a Fast 8, or whatever you call it, but for now it's a chance to take a breath and add a dose of reflection for a series about the ridiculous.
Nate's Grade: B
Furious 7 Quotes
|Dominic Toretto:||I don't have friends. I got family.|
|Brian O'Conner:||Hey, buddy, cars don't fly.|
|Luke Hobbs:||Daddy's gotta go to work.|
|Dominic Toretto:||I used to say I live my life a quarter mile at a time, and I think that's why we were brothers, because you did too.|
|Dominic Toretto:||No matter where you are, whether it's a quarter mile away, or half way across the world. You'll always be with me, and you'll always be my brother.|
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